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Honeybell tangelos are medium to large in size, averaging 7-10 centimeters in diameter, and are round to oval in shape with a slightly elongated neck and a distinct bulge at the stem end. The red-orange skin is smooth, finely pitted or dimpled, and easy-to-peel, and underneath the skin, the orange flesh is extremely juicy, soft, generally seedless, and divided into 10-12 segments. Honeybell tangelos are aromatic with a blend of sweet, honey-like flavors mixed with tart and tangy flowery notes.
Honeybell tangelos are only available for a short season in the late winter.
Honeybell tangelos, botanically a part of the Rutaceae family, are a rare hybrid that is a cross between the dancy tangerine and the duncan grapefruit. Also known as the Minneola tangelo, Honeybell tangelos get their name from their bell-like shape and honey-sweet flavor. Honeybell tangelos are only available for a couple of weeks at the beginning of the year and are highly prized as a gourmet variety favored for their juicy flesh, sweet flavor, and easy to peel skin.
Honeybell tangelos are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and folate, and also contain some calcium and fiber.
Honeybell tangelos are best suited for raw applications are their sweet flavor and juicy nature are showcased when used fresh. They can easily be peeled and consumed out-of-hand, sliced and added to green salads, or mixed with other citruses such as blood oranges and grapefruit in a fruit salad. Honeybell tangelos can also be made into a marmalade, baked into cakes for a unique flavor, or zested for a sweet-tart kick in pasta dishes. In addition to using the flesh, the fruit can be juiced and consumed as a sweet-tart drink or mixed into cocktails. Honeybell tangelos pair well with red bell pepper, sugar snap peas, spinach, cilantro, scallions, onion, garlic, ginger, jalapenos, eggs, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, Dijon mustard, shredded coconut, shrimp, poultry, fish, tofu, and sliced almonds. The fruits will keep up to one week when stored at room temperature and up to two weeks when stored in the refrigerator.
Honeybell tangelos are sometimes known as Minneola tangelos, but the fruits that earn the Honeybell name are only grown in a small region along the Indian River in Florida. This area is known for its fertile soil and warm tropical climate which nurtures and produces larger, juicer, and sweeter tangelos. Honeybell tangelos are also hand-harvested to preserve their delicate bells at the end of the fruit and are stored in special trays that are similar in appearance to egg cartons. Since they are in season in the winter, Honeybell tangelos are popular items in gourmet holiday fruit baskets as a symbol of luxury.
Honeybell tangelos were created by the United States Department of Agriculture, also known as the USDA, at their research station in Orlando, Florida in 1931. Today the sweet fruits are found in limited availability through select growers in Florida and specialty grocers across the United States.
Recipes that include Honeybell Tangelos. One is easiest, three is harder.